Nominee to lead European commission also says ‘precious’ backstop must be defended

Ursula von der Leyen, the nominee to lead the European commission, has signalled she will not reopen Brexit talks with the next British prime minister and stressed the “precious” Irish backstop must be defended.

She said she still hoped the UK would remain in the European Union, while indicating she had no intention to renegotiate the withdrawal deal agreed by Theresa May and EU leaders.

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